In limited circumstances, you may be able to settle your claim for compensation following a car collision with the at-fault driver's insurance company without the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney. For example, if you didn't suffer injuries and your vehicle sustained minor damage, you can probably handle your claim on your own.
However, in most vehicle accident cases, without proper legal counsel, you risk waiving important legal rights and may receive less of a settlement than you deserve.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer for a Car Crash Case
- You suffered serious injuries, or a loved one died. Devastating injuries or fatalities increase the value of your claim—and also make it more complicated. The insurance company may fight harder and longer to get you to accept a lower settlement, or take a position that they're not responsible for paying you. In addition, more negligent parties could be responsible for compensating you. In all of these circumstances, you'd have a serious disadvantage in the case without the help of an attorney.
- You became disabled. If you can no longer work due to your injuries, you could need ongoing medical care and your claim might need to include lost earning capacity over your lifetime. An attorney has the expertise to calculate these damages and will fight to ensure you receive necessary compensation for your future needs.
- Multiple parties caused the accident. If more than one party caused your car accident, you'll need to file claims with multiple insurance companies. Settling them can be complicated because negotiations are often done simultaneously, and the parties may place fault with each other.
- The driver was underinsured or uninsured. Either of these circumstances requires a skilled attorney to identify other avenues of compensation, such as uninsured or underinsured coverage under your current auto policy. He can also ensure that your carrier treats you fairly.
- The deadline to sue expires soon. You must file your lawsuit within California’s statute of limitations, which is usually two years from the realization of your injuries. This is the time you have under California law to file your complaint. If your accident occurred awhile ago, you should contact an attorney immediately to be certain that your civil complaint is filed before the statute of limitations expires.
Learn More About Your Options
Wondering if you can represent yourself in a car accident case? Order my free book, The 10 Secrets You Need to Know About Your Injury Case Before You Call a Lawyer, and start learning about these claims. If you feel you still need legal guidance, call my office to schedule a free case evaluation to learn how my team and I can help you.